Network data analysis boosts crucial monitoring tasks

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Network analysis tools are the new brains behind the network

It's not hard to pinpoint why network monitoring is more critical than ever with so many forces in play. Just consider the following: Networking is increasingly complex because it encompasses private and public clouds. Network components themselves are more diverse because they mix physical and virtual appliances. Application uptime, particularly those with real-time requirements in a global market, is more urgent. And then there are the users -- those who access enterprise networks from multiple locations via mobile and wired networks.

Network data analysis is the new brains behind the old workhorse of network monitoring. Except now you can harness machine learning with powerful processing capabilities not only to track performance, but also to predict when a problem may occur and even suggest remedies to fix problems before they happen. Network analytics tools can also reach beyond the network and feed the business side with important information. Therefore, different teams within the enterprise need to talk to each other about their network information needs.

Network professionals are extracting a wealth of information from new network data analysis, but they need to understand how to sort through that wealth to glean the essential insights that will keep the network running smoothly.

Network analytics is a big business. Technology research and consulting firm Market Research Future in India projects that global network analytics spending will grow at a 22% compound annual growth rate between 2016 and 2020, to make it a $3.1 billion market.

Proactive, not reactive, network data analysis is the way of the future to provide the reality of how the entire network is performing. But in the excitement over the plethora of new tools, network managers need to remember that implementing too many tools to gather data about network performance can create new bottlenecks -- and avoiding bottlenecks is one of the main goals of doing network analysis in the first place.